Society / Education
Friday, 21 Oct 2016 17:09 EATdkinyanjui@kenyafreepress.com
The awarding of a tender to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to supply laptops in primary schools was a milestone achievement as the institution evolves. JKUAT at the same time introduced ‘Taifa’ laptops which is also a major stepping stone for the institution, which has become the first in Kenya to assemble the gadget.
The user- friendly laptop is a technologically advanced gadget and just as good as any other high-end laptop. It was introduced earlier this year and has gained much popularity as it is being bought by most students due to its low cost and efficiency. This technology has not yet been introduced in the consumer market but once it is introduced be assured that it will sell like hot cakes due to its efficiency and affordability.
Thirty five years since JKUAT’s inception it has really evolved, no doubt about this. Apart from offering courses related to Technology, Engineering, Science Architecture and Building sciences, it has also embraced Arts-based courses such as Mass Communication, Journalism, Public Relations and Languages. Apart from arts courses, it has also provision for business- and health-related courses.
Many Kenyans are quite devoid of this knowledge and this is because they are used to the institution’s name, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The name doesn’t give a hint of any other courses taking place here apart from agriculture and technology. I really remember telling my parents that I wanted to go and study my Public Relations course in JKUAT two years ago and they were surprised.
“Why JKUAT? Is the course offered in JKUAT? Why not Kenyatta University?” They would always asked again and again, but finally I got admitted for my course to their surprise. JKUAT is a well-known public institution in offering Science and Engineering courses but on the other hand it also offers other courses. In fact recent statistics are showing that quite a high percentage of private students who are applying for courses in JKUAT are preferring to take Arts and Business courses over the Science and Engineering ones unlike those students sponsored by the government.
Drawing attention away from studies, JKUAT has a serene environment. The fact that it is located in central Kenya which has many highland regions gives it an advantage in agriculture training and production. Due to this advantage, JKUAT has a first of its kind botanical garden in a Kenyan University.
The botanical garden and ecology observation station is part of Japanese-sponsored research project on biodiversity in the East African Flora. The aim of this is to document the Flora of the East African region as a whole and also to preserve endangered plant species in East Africa from extinction.
The university also has a swimming pool, located on the far northern side of the compound, which provides an ultra- modern first class facility. There are only two other such swimming pools in Kenya, one at Moi Kasarani Sports Complex and the other located at Nyayo National Stadium. Students train in the sport there as well as school teams from outside the institution.
All the above achievements make JKUAT one of the leading and suitable universities in Kenya to study in. Ranging from the courses offered, its location, recreational and learning facilities offered in the university. JKUAT was started in 1981 as a middle level college by the Kenyan government with the assistance of the Japanese.
The Japanese involvement helped the university build world class engineering and science facilities. Now, with arts becoming a big component of the courses, the university is growing even faster.
Kinyanjui is a student of journalism studies at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He is currently on industrial attachment at the Kenya Free Press.